Gratefully, most of Lisbon's splendid Moorish, Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque architecture survived a devastating earthquake and tidal wave in 1755. At present, Lisbon has been renovated. The devastated places have been turned into neo - classical grand boulevards, spacious plazas and grid streets, contrasting to the twisting cobblestone streets. This new district - the Baixa (Box) is known today as the shopping, dining and commercial core of the city. Its grand squares have been restored and the streets are even more buzzing with life - from flower sellers and chestnut vendors, groups of Africans swapping news to tourists, wandering aimlessly. Lisbon's pre - Earthquake architectural marvels - the Moorish Alfama district, St George's Castle, various monasteries and colonial churches - are appreciated monuments to the city's wealthy past and glorious Age of Discovery.

The city has a thriving arts-and-nightlife scene and there are listings of concerts, plays and films in the monthly Agenda Cultural and the quarterly 'Unforgettable Lisboa' booklets, both available from the tourist offices. Also the Friday editions of some newspapers have separate magazines with entertainment listings. Although written in Portuguese, they are quite easy to decipher. In case you would like to visit a musical or theatrical performance, it is a wise decision to buy tickets from the box offices, but you can also get them from several agencies. A special ticket office, called ABEP is located on Praca dos Restauradores, near the main post office, also sells tickets for sporting events. The city is divided into five parts: Praccedil; do Comeacutecio - Cruz   Quebrada, or riverside West, considered to be the city's reception hall and it is also one of the most beautiful squares in Europe, Praccedil; DE Comeacutecio - Poi do Bispo, or Riverside East; Downtown - New Avenues - Benefica Camp; Lumiar, North;   Rossio - Grao - Praccedil do Chile - Olivais, North - East and Downtown - Estrela - Campolide, North - Northwest - West. All these districts are flocked with tourists, exploring the miracles of Lisbon.